Cardiac Arrest: Crucial Things You Need to Know

A Man Experiencing Cardiac ArrestCardiac arrest occurs when your heart suddenly stops to pump blood for your body. If you witness someone who collapsed suddenly, is unresponsive and stops breathing normally, or at all, that person is in cardiac arrest and is in grave danger.

Why Does Cardiac Arrest Happen?

Ventricular fibrillation or VF is the number one cause of cardiac arrest. It’s a life-threatening condition wherein your heart beats abnormally. It occurs when your heart’s electrical activity becomes extremely erratic and disordered that your heart ceases pumping blood to your body and instead fibrillates or quivers. According to a renowned cardiologist at Revere Health, various things such as the following could cause ventricular fibrillation:

  • Heart attack
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Acute myocarditis: heart muscle inflammation
  • Heart valve disease
  • Heart conduction disorders, which increases a person’s risk of abnormal heart rhythms
  • Significant blood loss
  • Electrocution
  • Significant lack of oxygen
  • Abuse of recreational drugs, most especially cocaine

What Happens After a Cardiac Arrest?

Considering that you get timely, proper treatment, you could survive a cardiac arrest and recover in time. The most common first aid treatment for ventricular fibrillation is by administering an electric shock via the chest wall with a defibrillator. This could be performed by anyone who knows provided that there’s a defibrillator nearby, or by healthcare professionals in an ambulance, or the hospital. CPR could likewise be used to make certain that oxygen keeps circulating in your body until help arrives and a defibrillator could be used.

While a heart attack could result in a cardiac arrest, and many people think that they’re the same, they’re really not. The main difference is that when someone is having a heart attack, he or she would continue breathing and remain conscious. Someone who’s in cardiac arrest would suddenly stop breathing normally, or entirely, and then lose consciousness. However, a person experiencing a heart attack has an increased risk of going into cardiac arrest. The main thing to keep in mind is that both cardiac arrest and a heart attack are potentially fatal medical emergencies that require professional help as quickly as possible.